The evolution of idea of socio-economic development

Michał Litwiński



Motivation: The way of understanding of development concept in economics has been changing since the beginning of the discipline: from economic growth, through economic development to socio-economic development. The author of the paper believes that it is important to indicate features of socio-cultural context that shape understanding of this phenomenon. It will make it possible to explain why and how the understanding of development in economics has changed and appropriately understand definitions of this process that are proposed by contemporary researchers.

Aim: The purpose of the paper is to reconstruct features of socio-cultural context in which it has changed the way of understanding of development concept in economics.

Results: Division of economic development and economic growth took place in 1960s. Change of understanding of development concept was caused by the following factors: (1) influence of new sociological and philosophical ideas, (2) historical events (mainly the Second World War and decolonisation process), (3) growing meaning of formalism and scientism in economic considerations, (4) appearance of mechanistic ideas in economics, (5) international cooperation for development that allows to formulate preferred development goals.


socio-economic development; economic growth; social development; socio-cultural context

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